Saturday, March 26, 2011

My name is Patti Abbott and I am a Blabbermouth.


My husband, Phil, didn't understand why I detailed our disastrous trip to NY a few days ago. He would never discuss stuff like this publicly. Probably would not even tell close friends about it.

I, on the other hand, have little sense of privacy, might even show you my bruised sternum should you ask.

I guess people like me blog and people like Phil don't.

I have a few questions here for you bloggers, And for non-bloggers too.

Did you expect to share intimate details with strangers when you began to blog? Do you now? Do you and your spouse have different levels of openness in general? Does she/he share things better left unsaid at dinner parties? Do you? Do you ever get into trouble for sharing something better left private. (YES to all of these)

If you do blog, do you limit it to non-family issues. Share. I'm listening.

32 comments:

George said...

I keep the family stuff to a minimum because I'm sure most people wouldn't be interested (we are truly boring people). However, if I endured a trip to NYC like yours, I would certainly blog about it. Diane could work for the CIA: secrets are always safe with her.

Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - Interesting question! I actually don't mention very much at all that's personal and private: my blog's about crime fiction and that's what I like it to focus on. That said, though, I do sometimes mention something personal if it's momentous (like the recent birth of my grand-daughter) or if it's relevant (like when I did a Father's Day post on fathers in crime fiction and wished my husband a Happy Father's Day). Otherwise, I usually don't. Actually both my husband and I are private people; we don't really share a lot of personal stuff.

Deb said...

I don't blog--I don't even have a Facebook account--but I do comment on a lot of blogs and people could probably get a general idea of me and my situation (married with children, working in the public schools, avid reader, leaning slightly to the left politically) based on the comments I leave. I don't think I've ever shared anything that might be considered "too personal"--but, then again, I didn't think your New York story was too personal; I thought it had just the right touch of personal detail combined with the general anxiety bout a really screwed-up trip that everyone could relate to. In my opinion, you do not overshare.

Olivia V. Ambrogio said...

I agree that your NYC post didn't seem "too personal"--just horrific!

In general I'm a much more private person than Annie; we often have conversations that begin, "Remember when we talked about how there are some things we *don't* share with other people...?" I do share some personal information on my blog (although I chose the blog's wildlife topic on purpose so as not to have to) and/or in writing generally, but it's been re-framed by that point to be a story, so I've already made careful selection of the elements I'm willing to share or not. There's also a different between the always slightly artificial candour of writing for public consumption vs. saying intimate things offhand in company--it seems to me.

Anonymous said...

Now I see why you and Jackie are sympatico. She's the same!

But the upside from her point of view is that people - even strangers - do tend to share the most personal things with her.

I'm like Phil (though perhaps not quite as reticent after all these years exposed to Jackie). I prefer to sit back and listen.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I may not have to look for B.A. group after all.
Jeff-He prefers to sit back and not listen. I am only partly honest. Over the years, and several cringeworthy incidents, I have learned how to keep quiet about certain stuff. Working in the same office for 20 years brought me some wisdom.

Anonymous said...

Example: on a flight to Europe when we were young Jackie sat next to a young woman named Jennifer. In the first hour she had her life story - broken marriage, boyfriend, etc.

By coincidence we ran into her twice on the trip - once in Copenhagen, once in Paris, where we even met the boyfriend!

In this she's much more like my mother than I am. My mother can go anywhere - including a bullfight in Mexico - and meet someone she knows.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

That's because she is looking for familiar faces. I think women do this more than men. And I think they are less afraid of getting sucked into a maelstrom. The story is often worth it.

Anita Page said...

Just read about the trip, Patti. What a horror. I wouldn't hesitate to blog about an experience like that and would be VERY tempted to include the name of the landlord, and his picture if I could stalk him and snap one.

pattinase (abbott) said...

He remains a shadowy figure that we will confront this week again.

Jerry House said...

I'm still trying to figure out what I'm doing with this blog thing. I tend to write about things that amuse and interest me, so that naturally includes some personal stuff. I usually try to keep personal stuff at a minimum, although today I didn't. I also try to tone down the politics, even though some of the anal sphincters on the political scene do make it into my blog and (more often) my snarky comments to other blogs.

And everyone in the blogosphere loves you for who you are, Patti, whether you play the blabbermouth or not.

pattinase (abbott) said...

As soon as I saw the comment "today I didn't" I was off, Jerry. And thanks.

Ron Scheer said...

I'm a little paranoid about revealing too much online. I watched while my students once searched the Internet for my birthday. (They wanted to have a party.) Though they never found it, I was uncomfortably surprised by what they turned up in the process.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I removed all my personal data from Facebook for that reason. But then anyone on here could probably figure out more about me than my mother knew.

Elaine Ash said...

You call that stuff personal? Okay, personal but not intimate. You're not revealing what you did the the bathroom or bedroom or anything about children and family. I think it's the difference between personal and intimate. If you never reveal anything personal, can you write?
Best wishes,
Elaine Ash

Chris said...

I reveal some private stuff, more the stuff we go about doing in our day-to-day life. Not my extended family, mostly just my wife and son. In some ways they are almost characters in the stories I tell on my blog, and since they have creative things going on all the time I like to share their little successes as well. It's all pretty surface level, though.

One thing I don't share is a lot of drama. I don't have my birthday out there. I don't twitter every time I have a sniffle or feel depressed. I don't think anyone cares about that, and a lot of that stuff seems to me like cries for attention.

I don't think you overdo it, Patti.

Mike Dennis said...

You, Patti Abbott, are definitely NOT a blabbermouth. You are, among other things, a blogger, and a damn good one. Your musings on your trip to NYC dovetailed quite nicely with other similar New York horror stories I've heard.

So it was personal. So what. The blogs are an ideal place to get personal. It didn't reveal anything horrible or shameful about you, only that you fell victim to a few hellish days in a city that can be quite hellish when it wants to be.

Keep it coming.

Gerald So said...

I have multiple blogs. On each of them, my degree of openness varies. I started my personal blog seven years ago as a springboard to other writing. I'm a fairly positive person, and my blog is even more positive because I think there's enough negativity out there. I may be the only blogger who's never posted a rant.

On another blog, I've covered THE LINEUP: POEMS ON CRIME from the beginning (2008). Recently I've been frank about THE LINEUP's sales numbers as they relate to our efforts to ensure the journal's future. My co-editors, not bloggers themselves, wouldn't have been as open, but the blog is my way of inviting anyone interested to be part of THE LINEUP's future.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks for the support guys. Of course I am preaching to the choir here.

Kerrie said...

your blog is probably the wayyou reduce some of the pressures of life Patti. My crime fiction blog is mainly about that- crime fiction - but like Margot, occasionally a private life incident gets a mention, just because it is a BIG one. But I blog too much already, so controlling posts about my personal life is probably a good thing, otherwise I'd never get any actual living done. (I also have a work/education blog for a seaparet "audience")

pattinase (abbott) said...

When I started this blog in 2006 I intended it to be about books and writing. But over the years, it became more varied. And as different people came into my life online I altered it to fit a wider circle. I doubt if I could do what you and Margot do because I don't read as much or remember as much. I can barely remember books I read a year ago.

Loren Eaton said...

I try very hard to keepy my personal details to a minimum. Part of this is due to a somewhat unstable relative and the rest to a general fear of the Internet.

Kieran Shea said...

For the blog I'm keeping the immediate family out of it....

Fiction, however, all bets are off.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have stolen my husband's entire family in one story or another. Mine was too tame.

Charles Gramlich said...

If the family stuff has some humorous element I'll share it. I'm a fairly open person in general so I do share a lot. I don't share what I consider intimate details but your trip report didn't seem that way to me.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have pulled down more than one post that veered too closely to intimacy though. Usually I get them in time--or before I get a frantic email from my daughter.

Richard R. said...

Late in as usual. - I probably share more than I should, but I do what's comfortable, figuring those who know me in one way or another may be interested, and if not, no harm done. Very different level from my wife, who insists she be Wife and not (her given name here). She does not want to have ANY presence on the internet, no matter how small. I agree with that mostly, I don't do social networking or social phone apps, but do my blog because I enjoy it, just as I enjoy reading your and many other people's blogs.

Would I have blogged about an experience like yours? You betcha!

Richard R. said...

and no, you're not even close to Blabbermouth territory.

Yes, I have pulled a couple of posts off, both of them political tirades that should have been posted in the first place but were reflections of frustration and anger with people - politicians - whom I perceive as right-wing, negative selfish idiots.

Would I like to see more such stories from you? Yes, please. Think of the writing of Slone Crosley in I Was Told There Would Be Cake.

Richard R. said...

uh, that was meant to be "that should NOT have been posted in the first place"

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think the key to it all came from Elaine. The stuff might be personal but it is not intimate.

Todd Mason said...

I try not to embarrass anyone in my life, beyond the amount of embarrassment that already entails. But if the anecdote seems useful and simply paints me in a bad light, that's certainly fair game. Not currently having a spousal equivalent might help with that dividing line.

I suspect someone's a bit upset about it being known that you were mulcted by a con job...but it's tough, in such a pinch, to vet such things at a distance. Not a blabbermouth, by any means, even if others in the family are hoping to make sure their own versions of their personas are the only ones publicly available. They don't, however, have the right to censor your experience or, rather, your expression of same.

People don't need to know too much about my life, and probably don't find what I do share in terms of my perceptions or opinions that compelling, as perhaps opposed to the odd facts and works of art or entertainment or sources of information I point out...the latter is at least as important to me that they be recognized, or at least that I've done something to publicize them.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I don't think that was what Phil found puzzling-he just doesn't get why I think anyone would be interested in it.
But we do become our own community after a while.